PNP says it will stop jailing curfew violators – for now

Aika Rey

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PNP says it will stop jailing curfew violators – for now

The police will instead keep the incident reports and file complaints after the crisis, says PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt Gen Guillermmo Eleazar

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP ) will stop detaining curfew violators for now, but will prepare complaints against them for possible filing after the coronavirus crisis, said PNP deputy chief for operations Lieutenant General Guillermmo Eleazar.

At the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, March 28, Eleazar said the decision was reached upon the recommendation of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, which Interior Secretary Eduardo Año agreed with.

“Ngayon, hindi na ikukulong [ang curfew violators]. Kukunin ang circumstances at ifa-file namin at-large iyan pagkatapos ng crisis na ito. Saka ‘nyo na pananagutan ‘yon,” Eleazar said.

(Now, we will no longer detain curfew violators. We will compile all the circumstances and we will file that at-large after this crisis. Just take responsibility for it after.)

The cases to be filed against curfew violators will depend on the penalties prescribed in the ordinances of the city or the municipality that they broke.

Eleazar reminded the public to stay at home to avoid problems in dealing with the pandemic. “Ang sinasabi natin, tayo ay nananawagan. Bakit kailangan mag-arestuhan pa, gawin ‘nyo na lang trabaho ‘nyo – you stay at home and become heroes,” Eleazar said. 

(What we are saying is, we are appealing to the public. Why do we have to arrest when you can do your job? You stay at home and become heroes.)

Eleazar also cautioned against abusing curfew violators.

“Merong kaparusahan na isinasagawa, pero patuloy na pinagsasabihan, ang ating mga commanders on the group na dapat walang physical punishment na ibibigay sa kanila (violators). Hindi dapat pinabibilad o pinapalo o kung anuman. ‘Yan ang aming pinaiimbistigahan,” Eleazar said.

(We are preparing sanctions, but we continuously remind our commanders on the ground that there should be no physical punishment given to violators. They shouldn’t put them under the sun or shouldn’t be spanked. We will investigate that.)

Barangay San Isidro in Parañaque, in a Facebook post, said they will make curfew violators sit under the sun. The punishment is not even prescribed by the city ordinance.

A Manila District Police cop was also caught in a viral video throwing expletives while hitting a curfew violator with a stick.

Barangay officials in Sta Cruz, Laguna, also drew flak for their implementation of their curfew, after they caged alleged curfew violators. 

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under a total lockdown and declared a state of calamity in the Philippines, as cases of coronavirus spiked.

As of Friday afternoon, March 27, the Philippines had 803 coronavirus cases with 54 deaths. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at